HR Management & Compliance

FMLA: Does Texting Apply Under Call-In Policy?

By Steve Jones

If you have an attendance policy that requires employees to follow a certain procedure to notify management of absences but you occasionally receive notice in a way that isn’t specified in the policy (e.g., a text instead of a phone call), you should make sure you’re consistent in accepting or refusing the alternate notice.

Otherwise, as was recently illustrated in a ruling by the 8th Circuit court—which covers Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota— you will likely be fighting an uphill battle if you later argue that an employee violated the attendance policy when he used an unspecified method of notice to inform you of an FMLA-covered absence.

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